By Mike Dougherty
Gov. Phil Scott signed into law a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, making Vermont the first state to pass a legalization measure through legislation rather than a voter initiative.
In a letter notifying the Legislature, Scott expressed “mixed emotions” about signing the bill, which allows possession of specific amounts of marijuana by people 21 or older.
Scott had previously said he would sign the bill, which he called “a libertarian approach.”
“I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice,” he wrote in his letter today.
The governor was previously undecided on whether to sign the bill in a public ceremony. At a press conference last week, he announced that he would be signing the bill in private.
Effective July 1, the bill allows the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana and two mature and four immature marijuana plants by people 21 or older.
“Marijuana remains a controlled substance in Vermont and its sale is prohibited,” Scott wrote today. His letter reiterated that consumption in public places is prohibited, and use by operators and passengers in motor vehicles also remains illegal.